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Agile Santa Claus

"Shared Services" and Santa's viewpoint

🎄 Shared Services are needed

🎄 Look at your organization and find the things that can be utilities

🎄 Know what your teams need

🎄 Then build your Shared Services

Let's talk the unspeakable thing about service centers and shared services and optimization of service. These things are needed. It's impractical, inefficient and remarkably, phenomenally ineffective to embed everything, everywhere all of the time. If a team is doing one release in iteration and you've got 10 teams, why would you have 10 release specialists, one in every team, they work for two days in iteration. You go "oh well, we're training everybody" and what happens is, then you train everybody in the team, that's a lot of effort, there's knowledge, which is great – I love knowledge – but that's 10 people who know how to do releases. Also what will happen is you'll get releases in 10 different ways with 10 different types of documentations and 10 different file systems in 10 different structures and you won't have the economies of scale to automate. So releasing from my point of view should be a utility function. It should just happen. And the way to do that is by having shared services, shared infrastructure. This is part of whole human functions. For those of you who think about like water and electricity and post and public transport, these are all shared public goods that benefit everybody. In an agile organization you have those same things. So when you're looking at the organization, find the things that can be utilities or find the things where there's not enough economies of scale to embed it everywhere and create those in shared service and if you set them up running in an agile way, make sure they actually have a value-add and economy of scale and a simplification involved. So build up your shared services but to build up your shared services, know what your teams need and build up the shared services in a way that the teams get served in the way that they need to be served.

About the course

Agile Santa has agreed to exclusively present his wisdom and advice with humor to all agilists in the world this year via




Beginner / Intermediate



Last Updated

Dec 24, 2022

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